tv [untitled] February 9, 2012 6:18am-6:48am PST
fun ♪ ♪ cast all voting your way ♪ supervisor kim: thank you, mr. paulson. >> it wanted to speak in opposition to the proposal to repeal -- i wanted to speak in opposition for the proposal to repeal ranked-choice voting. there will be a differential turnout in the september primary as acknowledged by supervisors farrell and elsbernd. 65% threshold instead of just a majority. this is also the case in other states where an august or september primary where that is normal. they still get much lower turnouts in august or september primaries than their general election.
one thing to take note of is how it relates to the school year, academic year. september or late august primary would either be just before or after the beginning of the school year will disadvantage participation by college students and teachers at all levels in this primary elections. i think that probably the most comparable thing in california to the september primary proposal is what cities like long beach to where they have a municipal primary election standalone and half a menace -- have them in a simple collection that is consolidated with an even year election. the most recent one in 2010, they had an 18% turnout in their april primary and about a 29% turnout in the june general election for their city. you would expect more of a differential between a september
primary and a november general because the november general has higher turnout for other reasons the state wide. i do not have time to make the other, and so i will leave a second early. >> i wanted to come up and give support to the legislation that france and elsbernd will be putting forward. i am supportive of that. it has caused confusion among voters and i think it is off- putting to those who do understand it. i find some people who have talked about the money city aspects are for increasing the amount of money for people running for office and i find that a big contradictory. i do not particularly like that. i think going back to the old system is the way to go. i think voter participation will increase. thank you. supervisor kim: thank you.
>> i am speaking on behalf of senior action network. senior action network is not in favor of doing away with ranked- choice voting. they are in favor of having elections department do more educating in the senior community. seniors do vote. we vote early. we do not vote often but we do vote early. and we have not given up on ranked-choice voting. i was also asked to say that opieu 3 are for ranked-choice voting. many of us are from that union as retired members. i would like to speak on 7 and say that i think the consolidating of these elections would bring more voters to vote
so the could join the seniors to always do. thank you. >> supervisors, i live and work in san francisco. i have been a police inspector here 10 times over the past six years. ranked-choice voting is a good system that has served us well. i would like to make three points about the newest repeal proposal introduced last week. first, more elections calls voter fatigue not just from voting itself but from the barrage of campaign materials. studies show having an election before november lower the turnout because of the fatigue. second, the 65% threshold in september is an acknowledgement that the electorate in september is smaller. what is special about that number? also 65% only compensates the
september turnout by november. it will be lower than that. if turnout drops more than 50% as compared to november, no special will compensate. after looking at september turnout in other cities this is a possibility especially in even years. in boston, the september mayoral primary had a turnout of 23% in 2009. a study found turnout in boston dropped more in minority wards in september. 2010's this return election is brought to illustrate the shortcomings of rcv. situations like that will not go away under the proposal. under his proposal only 12% of the voters would be represented. with an already depressed turnout in september. the candidate would not have
qualified for the runoff. she would have misqualified. what good does it do to have a majority winner if the right candidate sustanon events? thank you. >> good afternoon. i am jeff enty ane d i love san francisco but ranked-choice voting makes my skin crawl. i understand people to understand -- to understand one, two, three. in this past election 140,000 people voted successfully. how many votes were counted? in the final tally? 141,000. 53,000 votes were, 27% of the
votes were discarded. there were discarded because who the people voted for. under any circumstances, that is something you have to avoid. the next question is a lot of people are confused about, mayor lee got 31% of the first place votes and he was declared winner with 60%. how many people voted for him? the answer is 46. people do not understand this. if he went from 31 to 60, they assume he got there by the first, second, and third-place votes being accumulated. only 46% voted for him anywhere. he got to 60 by eliminating the 25% of the people. turnout i will not spend much time on. as i alluded to the last two elections were the two lowest attended for the mayoral race. 2007 -- last year was fair game.
we talked about diversity, asian american can and it's been increased and you know the numbers better than i do. let me get on to this. the history of this is that in 1996, during the november election, preference voting lost and it one later on. all i want to say is i hope this winds up on the november ballot again. most san francisco's -- most san franciscans should able to talk about this. >> that afternoon. i want to reiterate 1021. i want to reiterate our support for ranked-choice voting. december runoffs and undermine the goals that we all share. thank you for your work. supervisor campos: thank you --
supervisor kim:. -- supervisor kim: thank you. >> i worked as a volunteer in different elections and i am opposed item six. the only people i have known and have heard talk against ranked- choice voting with any detail or candidates who have been defeated. they say their objection was the did not get to be in a runoff and more clearly define their position against the other top candidates. to me, this is admirable because it leads -- does away with artificial dissent. with ranked-choice voting, the people who are doing that deciding make a first choice for the person who is the one who reflects your heart that you really want to win because they're the ones that you think will represent the people the best.
your second choice you can make the person who has -- it may not be that exact but it is a possibility they could win so you will support them as an honest and heartfelt second choice. the third is the lesser of the two evils which you think will get there on the top. as i understand things without any legislation necessary we can have a valid system where all the choices it counted. that will make it better so that you can more -- the boater can more closely controlled how their vote is used. and so thank you very much. >> thank you, supervisors. i would like to talk about the claim the turnout has not increased with ranked-choice voting.
ranked-choice voting has not attracted more voters to the polls. that misrepresents ranked-choice voting. if you look at this, our review of the voter guide shows that the promise was not about -- was about avoiding typically low turnout december runoff elections. the promise was about scheduling, not attraction. it was about taking advantage of whatever was already there and eliminating waste. the numbers tell the story. even with the exceptionally high turnout of the mayoral run out in 2003 -- runoff in 2003, december had a lower turnout. three have turned out for ranked-choice voting. ranked-choice voting has fulfilled its turnout promise. i agree with supervisor farrell. there are other factors that
influence turnout and in a given election, some of those factors can have a bigger influence on turnout than whether rcv was used and that is why rcv was instituted. that is why comparing turnout for a single 2000 election to 2003 was later a simple nor definitive comparison. replacing a low turnout december elections with lower turnout september elections is not a better solution. it matters which two candidates are chosen for the final round and who is doing the choosing. please keep and improve ranked- choice voting. thank you. supervisor kim: thank you. >> i am president of
californians for electoral reform. we are estate wide nonpartisan nonprofit organization. i am here to speak against the federal-elsbernd appeal attempt in favor of the campos- improvement measure. the appeal measure would have to primaries in the general election. academic research shows having spring and fall primaries results in a 5% decrease in november turnout. if -- is that what you want to discourage people from voting? if you have other -- look at other cities they have abysmally low turnout. in new york city, when they have a september primary, they have 11% turnout in 2009, 2010, the september had turned out of 12%. november 2007, for poor and 9%.
boston also low turnout. besides low turnout in september and november schedule is eight weeks before -- between elections. it puts you in violation of the move back. absentee ballots should be sent six and a half weeks before the election. since the election department has for weeks to certify that only gives four weeks to get absentee ballots. why does -- it does not apply to the city, not being able to meet the 45-requirement risks of disenfranchising overseas and military voters and means more work and more cost for - he musst send a ballot and mail them separate ballots for the municipal election. that will add to the cost of his proposal and to the confusion. i do not know if the comptroller included that in the cost
estimate. mended, do not end it. thank you. -- mend it, do not ended. -- end it. >> the supervisor -- proposal has major problems. they have amended it to move away from december runoffs. unfortunately if you look at the research around september primaries, it is not -- there's not a lot to recommend their. -- there. if we were to use their system we would have an election in june and another election in september for local prize, and a third election in november for everything else. we would have had three elections in five months with voter turnout dropping,
especially as you read the previous speaker speaking about the research that has been uncovered about these extremely low turnouts. supervisor farrell cited nyc as something we might emulate. nyc's primary election had 11% voter turnout in the september primary. another one in 2010, 12.5%. you look at other cities like seattle, they had september primary elections and the move them to august because they did not worked -- they moved them to august because they did not work. your election as the second week in september. you're campaigning in july and august and over labor day. you are campaigning in the middle of the summer and an important holiday where people are not. attention. the old december runoff system you are getting the election over in a decisive election. the nature of the september primaries is narrowing the field.
the discrepancy between a september primary and in november final election will be even greater than a november election and a december runoff election. there is a lot of voting rights implications in these low turnout elections as the history of these other shinnies show. we're preparing a report about the impact of september primaries and we will be sharing that with members of the board and other interested members of the public. thank you for your time. supervisor kim: is there any other public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. we do have two items before us addressing the same matter. one as the charter amendment replacing ranked-choice voting with run off elections and item
seven, a charter amendment which is the consolidation of city elections to ranked-choice voting with some improvements to the process. i did want to clarify that the consolidation of city elections before us is a separate charter amendment if the charter amendment does not move to the ballot for the june election and that was moved out of committee last thursday and will be in front of the full board tuesday. that item will be in front of the full board regardless. any discussions, colleagues? supervisor avalos: thank you -- supervisor campos: thank you. i think it is a good thing that here in san francisco we talk about these issues. again i want to thank supervisor farrell and supervisor elsbernd
for their proposal because even though i may have differences of opinion with the proposal, i think the objective here is the same period to try to have the best voting system we can have and to have as much broader involvement as possible. we may disagree on how we get there. the intent is the same. one of the things -- i do not want to belabor some of the points that have been made for and against each proposal. those points are very clear and we have had substantive discussions on that. one thing i will say and i say this not only as a member of that committee but the chair -- as the chair of lafco, one of the things i think is really important when it comes to talking about something as complex as this issue is to make sure that we have as much data as we possibly can and we have objective information on what
has happened with ranked-choice voting here in the city and county of san francisco. one of the thing that lafco's can do is to conduct studies and gathered that information. at the last meeting there was a move to have lafco staff work with the elections department to gather that information's so that their respective of what that perspective is, at least we have some data on what has happened and what the data tells us. and so that is a useful thing to have. the second thing i would say is, i did want to ask the head of the elections for the city and county a couple of questions to get a better sense of the practicality of some of the things that were raised. again, we have heard from a
side, the pros and cons of each proposal. -- each side, the pros and cons of each proposal. the proposal -- if he had any thought about the practicality of having a september runoff and what that would -- is that something that the elections department would be able to handle and what kind of impact would that have on what you guys do already? from what i understand, it is a very busy agency that is doing a lot. i wanted to hear from you, their respective of the pros and cons in terms of what happens on the ground, what impact if any that would have. >> it makes for a busy year having three elections. the schedules to mesh for the
june, september to november elections, we can make that work. one of the bigger challenges that came into our minds was recruiting high school students working the polling places. the majority of our clerks are high school students or volunteer. we're appreciative of the effort from the schools. we are concerned that since school starts from the day there might not be enough time to recruit students to join at the polls. also this didn't provide most of them bilingual language systems at the polling places. for the past several years. that would be a challenge for us. we could make it work. we were thinking about the testing of the equipment, if we had enough time to move into november, we could make that work but with a tight schedule. the main thing for us is to know what the plan as and be assigned to make the arrangements.
that is where we stand on this. supervisor avalos: i do not know the specifics -- of a pass in june. one would be the next year? >> we amended last week. clairemont affected this year. supervisor campos: the issue was sending balance to folks -- balance to folks overseas. can you comment? >> we could still send ballots out for a runoff election in december. that is what the speaker was discussing, with us trying to turn around and get the ballots out. if we had a september and november, it is about 75 days. there would be potentially time to get the balance out. if we get them 60 days before to
overseas voters, there would be enough turnaround to hit the mark. the hard part is not for sending them out. the hard part is people receiving them in time because the postal systems throughout the world have various degrees of efficiency. and getting them back to us by the close of voting on election night. even with the runoff in december, we still stand ballots overseas. supervisor campos: someone raised the issue of an election that had a primary in september and changed it to our best. are there any thought in terms of what would be better? >> it is more or less the same situation. just four different elections. going from june to august. -- just for a different
election. the recruitment for high-school students would be more challenging if it were -- for august and the beginning of september. the balance getting out for august would potentially be a bit more challenging for us than trying to get everything out in september and november to overseas voters. supervisor campos: thank you. supervisor farrell: the debates have been talked about in the talking points and the comment i will make is regarding our dialogue here. i think that even though we do have differences of opinion i do appreciate the fact we have been able to work together and have this dialogue and the members of the public that have come out as well on both sides of the aisle. the one thing i will caution, i did get an e-mail hear from mr.
hill regarding some of the people coming out to the meeting last week that bother me and something we need to avoid here in san francisco. this dialogue telling people that we want to return to load turnoff -- turnout elections. this is a direct attack on democracy in san francisco by local 1% -- one percenters. to me these are not the one percenters. let's not lose to the politically lead you want to manipulate the rules to their advantage. i would say the one thing with the board as we have differences of opinion but we respect each other. and have an honest good-faith dialogue and except the fact we have differences of opinions.
this dialogue is inflammatory and has no place here. i would ask that you refrain from using that going forward. there is no response. with that, i want to make that statement. what i saw that e-mail it bothered me more than anything else i have seen a lot in the past year -- then i have seen. -- than i have seen. i would like to make a motion to move this forward to the full board without recommendation so we can have this dialogue with the full board next week. supervisor kim: we have competing charter amendments on these items. i want to concur with the supervisor farrell. it is important that we engage in a discussion like this with the utmost respect and when we're looking at this, we're looking at increasing turn out but also clarity and simplicity for voters. everyone would like to see as
much democracy as possible in our voting processes and i want to respect my colleagues and their intent to do that. because of that we have two competing sponsors as well for those legislation. i would support moving both of these charter amendments out with no recommendation so there can be a greater discussion at the full board. many other colleagues would like to weigh in on this as well. my general -- the general things i will be looking at is the data of our last elections and the fiscal impacts of elections that we decide to initiate. definitely transparency and simplicity and making sure voters understand the processes they are engaging in or to elect an -- a representative is important and i appreciate the dialogue and the members of the committee that came out last week and this week to the committee to address their opinion on this matter. we do have --
supervisor campos: thank you. i do support sending these two items forward without recommendation. it is good to have that discussion at the board of supervisors. one thing i will say as these items go forward and something i put on the table for both sides of the issue is that i do think both sides could benefit from having more information and to the extent that there is that time allocation to get something on the june ballot, i do think there is a benefit to having more time and taking more time before any side bring something forward, and i am certainly open and hope the other side is also open to the idea of waiting until november if there is the desire to put